Honors Gallery

Rising Above: Exceeding Expectations of a PIA Partnership

Award: Outstanding Partnership

Year: 2016

Award Type:



For a number of years Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Crane Division and Purdue University have enjoyed a partnership that brings great value to both organizations.

The alliance was formalized in 2014 through a Partnership Intermediary Agreement (PIA) with the Purdue Research Foundation (PRF). While the original intent of the partnership was to market NSWC Crane’s intellectual property (IP), it has since broadened the exposure of NSWC Crane’s technology transfer program through the utilization of Purdue’s expert knowledge and resources.

As with many research universities, Purdue has a robust IP portfolio that is available for licensing for commercial endeavors. It utilizes Flintbox as its IP platform, which provides an online portal that serves as the main marketing component. One of the first activities to take place through the PIA involved loading NSWC Crane’s IP Marketing Sheets onto the Flintbox platform. As this was taking place, it was quickly realized that only a small portion of NSWC Crane’s portfolio was being represented. In order to expand the breadth of exposure for NSWC Crane’s IP, Purdue offered assistance with IP translation by providing two student interns to execute the translation of 70 pieces of additional IP. These translations allowed for the additional IP to be posted and marketed via Flintbox. The marketing campaign resulted in over 100,000 views of NSWC Crane’s IP, 16 leads and inquiries, one Cooperative Research and Development Agreement, and one Patent License Agreement.

One of the first activities to take place through the PIA involved loading NSWC Crane’s IP Marketing Sheets onto the Flintbox platform.

After the success of the Flintbox marketing, NSWC Crane and PRF continued to expand their partnership, exploring alignments for commercialization, and research and development (R&D). This included identifying areas for license bundling, which makes IP more attractive to entrepreneurs by providing a more robust package of patents available for licensing. In addition, technical experts from NSWC Crane and PRF are working together to identify potential R&D projects that can be executed via CRADAs. Currently, five such agreements are in various stages of execution between the partners.

Through the partnership, PRF has also made a commitment to assist NSWC Crane startup companies through its entrepreneurship assistance organization, the Purdue Foundry. The Foundry exists to help students, faculty and local alumni move ideas to the marketplace more quickly. It transforms innovators into entrepreneurs by providing advice on entity formation, ideation, market analysis and business model development. Over the last two years, the Foundry has helped create a record-breaking number of startups based on Purdue-generated IP. Through this new commitment, NSWC Crane startups now have an opportunity to utilize this robust service to increase the likelihood of success for their commercial endeavors.